Our Place Summerschool Teacher

Westhampton MA

Biocitizen is seeking a person this summer who is interested in teaching Field Environmental Philosophy (FEP), a pedagogy that brings students into environments brimming with biocultural history. Our Place Summerschool (OPS) is an FEP program that introduces them to that history, and their actual place in it.

Our teachers spend their time outdoors actively investigating and enjoying our mid-Connecticut River watershed biome, leading classes of up to 12 students with an assistant. It is equally an intellectual and physical job.

This person must be at least 25 years old (to comply with MA Dept. of Public Health requirements). They should have experience teaching children (ranging from 6-18 years), and a substantial understanding of, and passionate interest in, ecology and cultural history.

Biocitizen needs somebody who:

– loves kids and has experience working with them

– is passionate about nature

– is physically fit (because this job requires lots of walking and hiking)

– has lifeguard certification

– is able to engage (educate, entertain and encourage)

– is curious, and knows how to inspire curiosity

– is reliable

– is relaxed in the woods and wading in rivers

– has a background in outdoor education and/or wilderness skills


There will be 40 hours of training before the teacher begins to teach.

The dates and hours of teaching are from 8:30am to 3:30 pm M-F, June 19 through August 18 (8 weeks).

The pay rate begins at $24.00 an hour and increases according to abilities and breadth of service. 


Please contact Dr. Kurt Heidinger at info@biocitizen.org with inquiries and statements of interest.

Biocitizen was incorporated as a 501(c)3 educational institution in 2009 to provide services within the field of environmental philosophy, including operating a school that teaches this subject in both traditional indoor classroom settings and outdoors at local, national and international sites. To ensure its educational services are of the highest quality, and reach as large an audience as possible, Biocitizen conducts scholarly research, develops curricula and syllabi, trains teachers, and performs public outreach through a website, the giving of lectures and presentations, and through the creation and dissemination of educational materials in print and other media.

The school admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at our school and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, and national or ethnic origin in administration of our educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and other school administered programs.

From the Founder

What We Teach
Biocitizen school is a Leopoldian school that specializes in teaching the “land organism” via Field Environmental Philosophy (FEP). The word “biocitizen” is a contraction of “biotic citizen,” a term Aldo Leopold (1887–1948) used in A Sand County Almanac, a text that forms a foundation for Deep Ecology. One of our nation’s first Federal wildlife managers, Leopold co-founded the Wilderness Society and, in response to the environmental impacts of our culture, is widely celebrated for conceiving the “land ethic”:

“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”

The Biocitizen is a person who abides by this ethic. Our school creates them through an inquiry-based FEP curricula that combines book-learning and teacher instruction with directed exposure to environmental subjects, anywhere.

We inculcate students with the ecological, cultural and existential information they need to understand that

  1. where you are is who you are, and
  2. the world is a living land organism (a watershed-, ecoregion-, biome- habitat)

With that understanding, the land ethic makes sense and can be abided by.

How We Teach
Our Field Environmental Philosophy takes students into outdoor classrooms and, through the peripatetic method, investigates its biocultural history.

No matter the age of our students, we are on a treasure hunt; we are detectives; we are hunter-gatherers; we are storytellers; we are active, interpreting the place physically, intellectually, aesthetically, emotionally. We can raise the subjects and inquiries, or we can let the students raise them—but teachers must orient the investigation so it reveals the biocultural history our students’ own story is nested in.

Biocitizen teachers are masters of the story of the place the class investigates. Teachers must know as much of the biocultural history of the place as they can, and part of that knowledge is knowing: what is the best, most interesting and challenging, way of walking through it? Where will our students discover the most? That is where we take them.